FIJI stands slim chances to win a gold medal in the football competition of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games after the side was held to a 1-all draw by Vanuatu in the 2017 Pacific Mini Games at Port Vila Stadium in Vanuatu yesterday.

Coach Chrishtophe Gamel said they applied the plan and were almost victorious.

“I am angry because we made a silly mistake and most of all our senior players made the mistake,” he said after the match.

“The gold medal might have flown away from us but we are still in the running as there are other teams who are strong contenders. We needed a victory against Vanuatu and now we are hanging in the middle.

“It has been a long time since we’ve conceded a goal like that and it was a stupid and silly mistake. We now have to concentrate against Tonga, but I am sure they will give us trouble which I don’t want in the match.”

Midfielder Christopher Wasasala silenced the home crowd with a superb goal in the 30th minute of the match after being set up in the midfield.

The former Labasa and Lautoka midfielder worked hard in the midfield and he was rewarded with the opportunity when he scored past Vanuatu goal keeper Chikau Mansale.

Wasasala was substituted by coach Gamel after he was carried off the field on stretcher after being and Ilaitia Tuilau took the field to replace him.

“We also lacked a lot of finishing in the game and I will start using reserve players in the next two matches against Tonga and New Caledonia,” he revealed.

“I am disappointed for conceding an easy goal because all our effort goes down. We knew they had been attacking, but we knew how to defend. We conceded a goal by our own mistake.”

Fiji had five points after three matches where they won over Tuvalu and drew with Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu look strong contenders along with Solomon Islands who had seven points each while Fiji was positioned third on the points standing.

Fiji team: Simione Tamanisau, Kavaia Rawaqa, Remueru Tekiate, Sitiveni Cavuilagi, Setareki Hughes, Christopher Wasasala (Laitia Tuilau), Napolioni Qasevakatini, Dave Radrigai, Laisenia Raura, Ame Votoniu, Kolinio Sivoki

Story and photo by Fiji Times